Like them or not, weed guards or “fish guards,” as some call them, are an effective add-on that can be a game changer when fishing around heavy grass or floating debris. When applied correctly, a good weed guard can also be the saving grace at the end of a miscalculated cast that lands your bug deep in the mangroves or when fishing in grass mats. There are countless styles and techniques for adding a weed guard to your favorite fly. Depending on your fishing situation, some are better than others and for 2020 Umpqua has added weed guards to popular proven saltwater patterns.
In my opinion, the less material you put between the fish and the point of the hook, the better. When tying smaller saltwater flies, (size 2 and 4) bonefish or permit patterns, I opt for a single post, which is the same that Umpqua has added to those size flies. For larger saltwater flies a double post tied in 90 degrees below the hook eye and extend back just past the barb of the hook makes for a perfect big game weed gurad. Sixteen- to 20-pound hard Mason monofilament is my material of choice and the gold standard in a good performing weed guard. It has the perfect balance of stiffness and rigidity without too large a diameter.
Taking along both styles of flies can turn around a trip of near opportunities into fish boated at the end of the day.
- Signature Tyer Drew Chicone